Fair warning. Massive post coming your way about using Pinterest to grow your blog traffic.
How many times have you heard that Pinterest has doubled, tripled, quadrupled and even exploded a bloggers traffic seemingly overnight? How many times have you read a blog post claiming that Pinterest is the solution to all blog traffic problems and that used correctly it can grow to generate at least 80% of your daily traffic?
Anyone else a little annoyed at how easy Pinterest is made to look when in fact it’s a complicated, time consuming and strategic process that bloggers rarely admit to? Admittedly, I’m late to the Pinterest game. TTBH was never supposed to be anything more than a hobby blog so when I did realize that I could make a little money from this space I needed to amp up my Pinterest presence to get things rolling traffic wise.
I read post after post about how to use Pinterest and how ahhhhhmaaaazing and easy it was to use Pinterest to grow your blog traffic. Simple idea right? You pin other people’s content and pin your own and boom traffic shoots up by thousands and thousands of page views per day.
Sadly, that is not the case. At all.
What Pinterest is and what it is not
Pinterest is a visual search engine
Simple idea right?
Sadly, that means that despite your efforts at creating awesome, useful and engaging content it wont appeal to people unless the pin you are using to promote it is pretty.
Pinterest users absolutely judge a book by its cover. Isn’t that awful?
Essentially, if your pin doesn’t appeal to the person who is viewing it, it will likely not get repined or clicked on which will not grow your blog traffic despite how wonderful your content is.
How do I know? Well, my original pins sucked and brought me hardly any traffic. Now that I’ve been focusing on creating more visually appealing pins my click through rate has really increased dramatically.
I’ve also done my research. I’ve clicked on a bunch of incredibly beautiful pins only to be horribly disappointed by the lack of quality content to be found once I’d clicked on through. Sadly, click through rate has a lot more to do with what your pins look like than than the quality of the blog posts you’re writing because Pinterest is a visual search engine.
So, if you can manage to write kick ass content and design eye-catching pins you should be extraordinarily successful using Pinterest to grow your blog traffic.
Pinterest is not an immediate boost to blog traffic
Despite miraculous stories of using Pinterest to grow your blog traffic overnight which, I guess could technically happen to a lucky few – it does takes time. If you’re using a consistent pinning strategy (more about that below) you should be seeing a steady increase in your number of followers, repins and click throughs on a monthly basis.
Using Pinterest to grow your blog traffic is absolutely not a quick fix to increasing blog traffic. It’s a slow process that does work but takes time and consistency.
Pinterest can be a waste of time
Yup, I said it.
If you’re not using it correctly it can be an absolute waste of time. Trust me because I had no idea what I was doing initially and it proved to be nothing but a frustrating mess of pins that did not help my blog one bit. By doing research, studying how successful bloggers used the platform and experimenting a little with pinning strategies I’ve found my Pinterest sweet spot which for the time being seems to be driving a nice amount of traffic my way.
I tend to hover around the 55% mark – meaning 55% of my monthly traffic is driven via Pinterest. (As of February 2018, this number has risen up to 80%)
Pinterest can be an awesome traffic boost when used correctly
If you figure out a pinning strategy that works for your blog and your niche you’ll likely see a lot of success with using Pinterest to grow your blog traffic.
Using it correctly means having a strategic pinning strategy which can vary from person to person. Some of my blogging friends see great success with very few daily pins while others (like myself) need to be pinning at a pretty hefty rate to see similar traffic numbers.
All this to say, there is no one size fits all approach to mastering Pinterest. It’s a question of experimenting, finding what works for your blog and tweaking as necessary.
Using Pinterest to grow your blog traffic
Get yourself a Tailwind Account
Seriously, Tailwind will be a lifesaver when it comes to using Pinterest to grow your blog traffic. When I first started experimenting with a Pinterest strategy I signed up with Boardbooster which I loved. Although Boardbooster is an awesome scheduling and looping tool it really doesn’t compare to the power Tailwind gives you when it comes to scheduling your pins.
I ended my subscription with Boardbooster in favor of an unlimited yearly package with Tailwind. I do not regret the switch one bit and since I’ve started pinning upwards of 100+ pins per day I’ve seen my blog traffic triple.
But, like I mentioned above it takes time and will not happen overnight. I’ve seen my traffic triple in just over 3 months. That’s 3 months of scheduling at least 100 pins per day. Every. Single. Day.
Consistency folks – it’s all about consistency. All this to say, you need a Tailwind account right now if you’re looking to grow your Pinterest presence and aren’t into manual pinning. It makes pinning, scheduling and keeping track of your pinning super easy and efficient.
It’s so freakin awesome! I promise you will not regret it.
Don’t pin for yourself
This was the game changer for me folks. After spending months (yes months) pinning manually for hours every single day (thank goodness for Tailwind) without any real direction it occurred to me that my Pinterest account would never appeal to my target audience.
As a frugal living blog I’d hope that frugal minded people and those looking to save money or turn their financial situation around would find my content appealing and want to repin it right? Well, these people would never find me because I was pinning content that I found interesting and not necessarily content that would appeal to THEM.
That’s right folks – the second you start using Pinterest to market your blog you are no longer pinning for yourself. Once you cross over into the world of Pinterest marketing everything you do on Pinterest is about your ideal reader.
What pins would your ideal reader be interested in?
What topics would your ideal reader be searching for?
What boards would your ideal reader be looking to follow?
Once you can answer those questions you can really narrow down your pinning strategy and focus on building a Pinterest account that is overflowing with useful and targeted information your ideal reader would be interested in reading.
Create 2-3 pretty pinnable images for every post
Every post you are creating should include a minimum of 2 pins.
Why? People like options and ultimately different people will be attracted to different pins.
Look at it this way, the more pins you create for a single post the more pins that are circulating around Pinterest linking back to your amazing content.
In my experience, when I’m writing a meaty post that I flag as cornerstone content I put in the extra effort and create up to 5 different pins that I embed and hide within my post. It gives my readers options and has a higher likelihood of appealing to different members of my target audience.
If you’re new to the world of creating Pinterest pins don’t worry – it‘s not nearly as overwhelming as it seems. I use Canva to make my pins with the help of free stock image sites like unsplash, pixabay and pexels.
Experiment, play around with different layouts and ultimately come up with something you think your ideal reader will find appealing. Make sure the text is clear and legible and that each pin is a minimum of 735 pixels by at least 1200 pixeks. After some trial and error I’ve discovered that 735 X 1400 works best for my content.
If you do decide to create more than 2 pins for a post you might want to consider hiding them within your post so not to overwhelm your reader. Pinterest images although beautiful are often large and bulky within a post which can be visually distracting from the content you’re putting out there. If you’re interested in hiding a pin follow these easy steps:
- Insert the pins you want to hide into your post. I usually add them at the very end so they are easy to find.
- Switch over to text view and find the html code that links to your pins that you want to hide
- Add <div style =“display:none;”> before the <img src=”yourimage.jpg”> and </div> after
- Switch back to visual view to see if you’re pin is now hidden
- Repeat for every pin you wish to hide.
Join Pinterest group boards
Group boards are awesome because they get eyes on your content. I’m a member of upward of 40 group boards and by using Tailwind to schedule my pins to my various group boards my traffic has really increased. The thing I’ve found with group boards is that the larger the board the less engagement I get.
Why? My pins get drowned by hundreds of other pins that are being dripped into the group at the very same time.
Getting added to group boards can also be tricky. It often involves following the group owner and then sending an email request to join which in many cases never amounts to anything.
My advice? Request membership to smaller groups that are up and coming. The admins are often far more receptive to emails and will gladly add you to grow their group. Win win situation right?
I currently have two Pinterest Group Boards that I’d gladly add you to if you’re interested and feel like your content is a good fit.
Use Tailwind Tribes
Sadly, this is no longer a free option with Tailwind. If you’ve got the extra cash and are looking at using Pinterest to grow your blog traffic Tribes are absolutely the way to go and worth every penny of the investment.
I’d say , and don’t hate me for this – Tribes are more effective than group boards at using Pinterest to grow your blog traffic. Why? People joining tribes are there for one reason – to get their pins seen. It’s really a quid pro quo situation where by sharing your pins you’re agreeing to share in return – the ease of scheduling within the tribes makes it super easy for you to find awesome content to share to your target audience and in return your pins get shared to an exponentially larger group of people. Cool hunh?
If you’re already a Tailwind Tribe Subscriber and want to join my tribe head here: Fabulously Frugal Folks. It’s a 1:1 group which means that for every pin you share to the tribe you must share one in return.
Use Tailwind to schedule upwards of 100+ Pins per day
The number of pins you should be scheduling daily is highly debatable. Some argue that you need to schedule no more than 20-30 per day while others claim that to see good traction with Pinterest you need to be pinning at a rate of 100 or more daily.
What will work for you will depend on many factors including your following, your niche, the quality of your pins and Pinterest and its super secret algorithm. My suggestion would be to start on the high end to really start gaining momentum with using Pinterest to grow your blog traffic and then slowly scale back until you find your Pinterest sweet spot.
I’m currently pinning 100 or more pins per day which seems daunting right? Tailwind, group boards and Tailwind Tribes actually makes filling up my queue a breeze. Often times my queue is filled weeks in advance because I’m constantly hunting through group boards and tribes to find the very best content to share with my target audience.
I generally spend 15 minutes per day scheduling pins which keeps my queue well stocked weeks in advance.
Schedule by the 80/20 rule
The whole point of using Pinterest to grow your blog traffic is to schedule your own content in addition to other people’s content that you think your target audience will enjoy and find useful. Pinning by the 80/20 rule – meaning for every 10 pins, 8 are your own allows for maximum visibility of your content. Although I aim for the 80/20, I often come in short at probably 50/50 and I’m still seeing good momentum with Pinterest traffic and click throughs.
My ratio changes day to day and so far I haven’t seen any negative effects to my traffic if I stay within the 50% range. Again, like everything else Pinterest related it all depends on your niche, your blog, its content and your followers.
Experiment with different sharing ratios and see which works best for you.
Phew. If you made it to the end, thanks for reading! Ultimately, Pinterest does work but it takes time and consistency to see the payoff traffic wise. I hope you found this monster of a post helpful friends!